This week: A Writer's Guide to Murder WeaponsEdited by: New Year, New Squirrel
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Mystery plots come in many forms: missing persons, lost objects, theft, scams, and, of course, murder mysteries. A popular choice, murder mysteries can be as different as the authors who pen them. But they all have one thing in common.
Someone is killed.
Every murder needs a weapon, either man-made or naturally found. Your choice of weapon will depend largely on your villain's personality and on the kind of mystery you want to write. Murder methods can be broken down into six different types. How you use them is completely up to you.
This would be any kind of weapon that uses gunpowder to propel a projectile. There are many different types of guns your villain can use. Most are classified into two major categories.
These are weapons designed to be fired with one hand and are easily carried and concealed. Two types of handguns are:
1. Revolvers: These have a revolving cylinder to hold the bullets and can be single or double action.
2. Pistols: These use a removable clip to hold bullets and can be single shot, semiautomatic and fully automatic.
Rifles and Shotguns
These have longer barrels for accuracy, can be single-shot or rapid fire, and are much harder to conceal. A villain using a rifle would have a more difficult time of hiding his weapon while escaping.
This can be any item that can pierce the skin. Knives, scissors, ice picks, and even knitting needles are examples of stabbing weapons that have been used to commit murder in real life. And any of these could be used by your villain to commit his murder.
Once thought to be a woman's murder weapon, poisons are making a comeback in murder mysteries. Just about anything hazardous can be used, from man-made cleaners to naturally growing plants. But be sure to research your choice carefully. You do not want to pick a poison that is not deadly or is nearly impossible to get.
Clubs, baseball bats, and pokers are examples of blunt weapons, but pretty much anything your villain can grab can be used. Appliances, small pieces of furniture, and even cookware can be used in your murder mystery.
The Human Body
Do not forget your villain's abilities when plotting your victim's demise. A villain does not have to be a boxer or martial arts master to kill the victim using his hands and feet. But he does have to be somewhat strong to make it convincing.
Regardless of the method you choice for your victim's death, you need to remember that any weapon will leave behind forensic evidence. When you choose your method, be sure to research it thoroughly so your scene is realistic and accurate. Your readers will thank you.
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